Stakeholders have emphasised the need for Nigeria to improve its interstate commerce by eliminating obstacles such as infrastructural deficit, regulatory barriers, and insecurity, among others.
They spoke at the 62nd ‘Leaders Without Title Tribute Colloquium’ organised by the Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL), in Lagos on Tuesday.
Odiri, Erewa-Meggison, external affairs director, British American Tobacco, West and Central Africa, speaking at the event, said Nigeria should explore the right policy and regulatory framework to support the free movement of goods and services within the country. She also harped on the need for the country to improve the standard of its produce.
“Substandard products are in the market; when there are standards in place, there should be monitoring to ensure the standards are enforced.”
She stated that there should be no restrictions on the movement of goods and people across borders. “We need to reduce checkpoints because they impede the movement of goods.”
“The benefit of interstate trade is free movement of goods and people which help to foster more business and revenue,” Erewa-Meggison said, adding that people should not be restricted because a Lagos resident who works in Ogun State, for example, will pay tax to develop the state.
Tola Mobolurin, chairman of Bancorp Finance Limited, said Nigeria needed a new vision and long-term plan.
“We must decide what kind of country or economy we want, the industries we want and match it with prerequisite structures to make it survive; then the state and regions should take a cue from that,” Mobolurin said. He urged every region in Nigeria to take stock of resources and see how they can use them to lift people.
Obiora Madu, an adjunct professor at the Malaysia University of Science and Technology, said Nigeria was heavily commerce-oriented but its peers have left it behind a long time ago.
“Prices of commodities are higher locally than internationally because of logistics and logistics infrastructure,” he said.
John Isemede, an international sales/marketing expert and export consultant, said trade policy was not available in Nigeria because the country has a trade policy that was not up to date.
“In a Francophone country, to get information is easy because there is a traceability mechanism but in Nigeria, there are no records of inter-African trade,” Isemede said.
Bimbo Ashiru, chairman, Odu’a Investment Company, who was recognised at the 62nd Leaders Without Title tribute colloquium, said the Nigerian government must create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.
“State should not be waiting for the Federal Government for revenue but should rather look at areas where they have a comparative and competitive advantage,” Ashiru said.
Bimbo Ashiru was recognised at the CVL 62nd Leadership Tribute Colloquium for his dedication to the growth of Nigeria’s commerce and investment sector.
“The Leadership Without Title is a colloquium close to the world of honoured which continued with Bimbo Ashiru who, among his many accomplishments, chairs the board of the Odua Group,” Pat Utomi, CEO/founder of Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL) said.